CLICK HERE FOR THOUSANDS OF FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES »

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tired

As I was sifting through students assignments in between my baking and kids' exam tutoring, I had my itchy finger meddling with this tiny growth at the back of my head. Before I could even flinch, blood was trickling down my neck, soiling the football jersey I was wearing and I could hear my kids screaming. "Ma! banyaknya darah!" I instantly reached for the wet tissue in my handbag and pressed onto the affected area. After the tenth tissue, blood was still trickling. I then took some ice and rubbed it onto the wound, which helped in the slowing down of the blood flow. After a while, it stopped and I was already feeling a little bit weak by then. It was too late to go to the clinic and I was too tired anyway, so promised my husband that I would go and have it checked the first next morning.

The doctor couldn't make out what it was and wrote me a referral letter to have it examined at the hospital for fear of it being cancerous. The trip to the hospital was flooded with gamut of emotions, fearing for the worst. I had a terrible headache throughout the journey, which didn't help to ease my concern. My husband as most days was occupied with his duties at the office but he rushed to the hospital to meet me as soon as I broke the news to him. Alhamdulillah the surgeon was in and I was able to make an appointment on the same day. The growth at the back of my head was diagnosed as Cavernous angioma, benign in nature, insyallah. Nevertheless, I still have to undergo a minor operation scheduled this Saturday. The OT is not one of my favourite places to be in. The last time was horrifying, the big round lights, the needles, the masked doctors and nurses, the smell of antiseptic solution and of course the knife. It would only be a small incision folks, but still I shudder on just the thought of being clad in a hospital robe.

I need to get some rest after this. I think I have overdone it this time. I had to cancel a few orders (so so so sorry, especially to suzana) My head still hurts from the bleeding and my heart still pounds of fear. I need to go through this once and for all to avoid future hemorrhaging. That's all for now folks. Will write as soon as I am off from the bandage.

Ps. There goes my locks, need to shave some parts of my head now.

Cakes of last week. Thanks so much to Sarah, Mel and Intan. Appreciate it.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Springing Daisies

I have been a regular visitor of elara, mush, zaza, julia and kak muna's pages for quite some time now. Their lovely stories, exquisite recipes and lovely crafts welcome me every time I am there. They generously offer scenic pictures of the foreign land they call home and talk about the new experiences and discoveries which I wished I could have a taste of. It's fairly easy to be transported to their homes via telepathy of course, and I don't know why but I constantly find myself in their glorious gardens, sitting amidst all those spring flowers which are in bloom. Yes! it is Spring now, a time to inhale the scent of those beautiful flowers, feed the ducks, jump on the neighbour's trampoline(elara's neighbour has one) and just bury yourself in the daisy bush and sneeze yourself silly after. So to Elara, Mush, Zaza, Julia and Kak Muna, thanks for sharing a glimpse of your life there, a taste of your dishes and a note of your thoughts. I'm hooked.

To commemorate the arrival of Spring, I made the perfect flower for it. Another sweet and bubbly blogger Anis, requested a special cake for her mother's birthday. She didn't specifically ask me to have daisies on the cupcakes, only to have them in pastels. That allowed me more freedom to be creative, which I like very so much - thanks Anis. So here it is ...daisies oh daisies in spring.





Thanks a bunch of Daisies Anis!

Daisies

It is possible, I suppose that sometime
we will learn everything
there is to learn: what the world is, for example,
and what it means. I think this as I am crossing
from one field to another, in summer, and the
mockingbird is mocking me, as one who either
knows enough already or knows enough to be
perfectly content not knowing. Song being born
of quest he knows this: he must turn silent
were he suddenly assaulted with answers. Instead
oh hear his wild, caustic, tender warbling ceaselessly
unanswered. At my feet the white-petalled daisies display
the small suns of their center piece, their - if you don't
mind my saying so - their hearts. Of course
I could be wrong, perhaps their hearts are pale and
narrow and hidden in the roots. What do I know?
But this: it is heaven itself to take what is given,
to see what is plain; what the sun lights up willingly;
for example - I think this
as I reach down, not to pick but merely to touch -
the suitability of the field for the daisies, and the
daisies for the field.

Beautifully written by
Mary Olive



Saturday, April 19, 2008

...and it's been a year

19th April 2007, was the first post published on this blog. I had only a bagful of stories then to share with a just an ovenful of cake pictures to spare. In the beginning, the blog was to serve the purpose of recipe sharing, (I know I haven't been doing much of that now), kids' tales telling, stories rendering and anguish relating. But as I punch these keys away through out the year, it became more of a cake journal than anything else.

Many have asked me how many cakes have I done? I could never be able to answer that question,even if I tried really really hard. All I could say every time was "...not enough". But now, I am ready to say just the opposite. I am tired and weary. I have stretched myself so thin that I might snap back and would probably hurt the people around me. The exhaustion is unbearable at times, but I persevered nevertheless just to make ends meet. Baking used to be an exciting affair, now it has turned into a nightmare due to the inadequate time and my lack of management skill. yes my fault Maybe I just need a break...for awhile. I have not treated myself to anything for quite sometime, in fact from the moment the kids were born. Submitting myself to the chores and to the responsibilities of being a full time mum and full time of everything else have taken a toll on me. I could not remember when was the last time I went out alone or with friends, or to the salon to have a decent hair cut.

It's long over due. I need to do this. I need to look in the mirror and see me. I need those hand cream badly to replenish this dry wrinkly hands. I need those expensive shampoo to leather my hair and make it not frizzy again. I need new clothes to look like I live in the 21st century not clothes from my KPP days, which I still wear! I need more than a pair of shoes, like the rest of the ladies I know. I need to be selfish just for one moment, without cringing of guilt and I am cringing as I write this.

In retrospect of it all, come to think of it, all I need has been granted right from the start. I have a husband who loves me unconditionally, kids who just can't take their hands of me and the time to do the things I love - baking and cake decorating and teaching. I just have to know how to manage my time and learn how to decline orders that I could not have time for. I know I am contradicting myself here, soooo me. I must be thankful for what I have and not just complain away. So, on this note, on this 1st anniversary post, I would like to thank the nicest of people who have ordered and also to the best of blog friends who have left comments and beautiful words here for me. This blog has served me well, much more than I could give back. I am thankful for all that. May there be more posts to come...more of you and more of me.


Ps. I ran out of brownies.

Here's a glimpse of some cakes for the past one year.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Frangipani

Flowers are the most essential part in any cake decoration and undeniably for me they are also the most difficult. Creating them requires abundance of patience first, then comes the skill and time. And sadly, I have none of the above. As much as I desired to make them look beautiful and perfectly moulded and sculpted, they often ended up looking fake and stiff to these untrained eyes. Not to worry folks, I haven't given up hope, the quest has yet to meet its closure. It's still work in progress, never the end product. Flicker of hope is penetrating through the clouds of doubts and hopefully it will shine on my new patch of sugar garden soon. *apa benda saya cakap ni*

Anyway, after countless of roses, daisies and cherry blossoms, yesterday I tried making another one of my all time favourite flower, the beautiful and fragrant frangipani. We had a huge frangipani tree on our lawn in Rapat Setia Ipoh way back in the late 70's and tis' the reason why I love it so much. I adored every single thing about the tree and its flower. The scent it constantly left on my hand, hair and baju, the velvety surface of the flower which made my hands smooth after, the soothing colours and shape and how it could be stringed into a pretty garland! My days were filled with frangipanis and I relished every single moment of it.

Now, 30 years later, I still am crazy about the flower. Whenever I chanced upon them, like at the KLCC park, near the subang parade commuter station, Taiping lake garden to name a few, I would pick as many flowers as I could, stash them in my bag, and would be contented with the olfactory of my childhood days. And that would make me smile all day and night long.

Below is my attempt of the flower, which failed to do justice to the true beauty of the frangipani. :o(

Thanks Ayot and friend for the order.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Not Quite A Winner Yet But Feels Like One!

This is the picture chosen as one of the 28 finalists of the Martha Cutest Cupcake Contest.

I don't think you have any idea how thrilled I am to find out that one of my two entries to the Martha Cupcake contest emerged as one of the 28 finalists! Even if I might not clinch the grand prize, ( the grand prize winner hasn't been announced yet) I am still blown away by this selection. There were thousands and thousands of entries by numerous famous cupcake makers all over the world as well as big names here from Malaysia, and to be nominated as one of the finalists suits me just fine. I wasn't the one who submitted the two pictures, in fact I wasn't even aware of the competition taking place at that time. My sister with a lot of time in her hands waiting for her baby to be born, chose only two pictures from my gallery and sent them. Honestly, I would have probably picked a different one, or I might have sent all the pictures, but I am thankful to her just the same. Thanks Da!

For someone who has never won anything in her life, except for lame lucky draws, this finalist cupcake Martha thingy, sure makes me feel like a winner. No prizes to enjoy, no trophies to display and no cash to spend for now, but you know what?, this is better than all that glitters, this is self esteem, self confidence(been lacking of these) which can't be bought or won elsewhere.

I think I am proud of myself now, for the first time.


Look here for the post.


Feel like singing this song now folks. It's a song I grew up listening to, every morning on my way to school. I remember it being played on the radio in our old Datsun car with my mum driving half of the time asking us to pinch her for fear she might fall asleep! *chuckles* Those were the times. Now, I may need someone to pinch me.*pinch me! pinch me!*



I am what I am
I am my own special creation.
So come take a look,
Give me the hook or the ovation.
It's my world that I want to take a little pride in,
My world, and it's not a place I have to hide in.
Life's not worth a damn,
'Til you can say, "Hey world, I am what I am."
I am what I am,
I don't want praise, I don't want pity.
I bang my own drum,
Some think it's noise, I think it's pretty.
And so what, if I love each feather and each spangle,
Why not try to see things from a diff'rent angle?
Your life is a sham 'til you can shout out loud
I am what I am!
I am what I am
And what I am needs no excuses.
I deal my own deck
Sometimes the ace, sometimes the deuces.
There's one life, and there's no return and no deposit;
One life, so it's time to open up your closet.
Life's not worth a damn 'til you can say,
"Hey world, I am what I am!"

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Lucky One

Wan Aiman my newborn nephew had his first taste of kurma yesterday, in a minuscule ceremony attended by his paternal relatives. My sis was still at the early stage of her confinement and the kenduri was held early to allow the paternal grandparents and family to celebrate the newborn, before they left for the UK. In the haste and scale of it all, not all were invited since she has planned to hold another one when she is stronger and out of her confinement period. So the Esa clan, please make yourself free early May(date will be given soon) to welcome our latest edition to the family Wan Aiman Wan Edrin. Be prepared to bring loads of your specialty food, Kak Yong - your apple pie, Kak Lin - your juicy lasagna and the rest your empty tummies!

Some pictures of the cupcakes I made these couple of days.


To Wan Aiman, The Lucky one, a warm welcome to the family with endless hugs and kisses from Alang, Makyang, Kak yong Iman and Nyah Adnin. Muahhhhs!

Hush now, my baby
Be still love, don't cry
Sleep like you're rocked by the stream
Sleep and remember
My lullaby
And I'll be with you when you dream

Drift on a river
That flows through my arms
Drift as I'm singing to you
I see you smiling
So peaceful and calm
And holding you, I'm smiling, too
Here in my arms
Safe from all harm
Holding you, I'm smiling, too

Hush now, my baby
Be still, love, don't cry
Sleep like you're rocked by the stream
Sleep and remember this river lullaby
And I'll be with you when you dream
I'll be with you when you dream

Friday, April 11, 2008

Skiminnarinking The Elephant

Sculpting the little elephant for dear Khai Wen has put me into the skiminnarink trance for at least a few days. I skiminarinked myself to work, to the kitchen, to sleep till my kids, who have never heard of the song before, have memorized it by now. I'm not sure if you've had the chance of making an acquaintance with the elephant show, but for my sis and I, it was a show we never missed.

The best part of the show has always been the theme song, with simple, comical and fun melody and lyrics as well. It starts off with skiminnarink word and ends with boop boop bee doo. If you have children, it'd be a wonderful song to sing together, my preferred choice which overwrites Barney's "I love you" song anytime. To enjoy the song please click on the youtube below.


Thanks so much Yin Huei for this lovely order. I had a skiminarinkeedoo time!
And Khai Wen...Happy Happy skiminnarink 11th birthday dear! This song is for you!




Skinnamarinkydinkydink, Skinnamarinkydoo, I - Love - You!
Skinnamarinkydinkydink, Skinnamarinkydoo, I - Love - You!

I love you in the morning, and in the afternoon
I love you in the evening, and underneath the moon

Skinnamarinkydinkydink, Skinnamarinkydoo, I - Love - You!
Skinnamarinkydoo, I - Love - You — Too! (Boop, boop, ee-doo)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Dewan Filled with Harmony

Since its official opening on 17 August 1998, I have only ONCE, made my presence inside this luxurious and prestigious music hall. I was there with my own musical circus troupe to attend one of their many amazing concerts and to say I was mesmerized would truly be an understatement. The experience was beyond words and my wildest imaginations(talk about being jakun here).You've just got to inhale the atmosphere, taste the ambiance first hand and be immersed in the beautiful music served on a golden platter. You need not be a classical music enthusiast nor a learned musician to appreciate the crisp melodies. A tone deaf person like me with no knowledge whatsoever of musical notes or musical instruments could still be thoroughly entertained. If you have the interest but not the fund to bring your family, worry not as DFP offers numerous friendly family packages and special programmes for kids. Your children would love the melody and the rhythm played in this world class state-of-the-art classical concert hall.

A good recent example is the family fun day concert which carried the theme of "Red Riding Hood". There was story telling, and kids were encouraged to come with the themed costume either as little red riding hood or the big bad wolf. For those who dressed up would get little door gifts of character cupcakes made by yours truly of course! .

I was given the opportunity by Dewan Filharmonik Petronas to complement the activities with my cupcakes, a chance which I undertook with a shiver in my spatula actually, nevertheless glad to be informed that everybody loved them.

Red Riding Hood posing with the cupcakes

At the entrance of the hall.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Under A Baking Spell

Salaka doo La michikaboo
La bidibida bidibooo!
Join them together
and what have you got?
orders you can't say No to!


I have been cast! under many baking spells folks. The announcement has been put up, the pledge to my kids and other half have been made and the promise to myself has also been written down in my head. However, ever since the announcement, I have yet to put my whisk, spatula and mixer down. Everyone is pouting, the kids especially. The husband is sighing, yours truly is cringing. The only being on this planet that is enjoying my nonstop baking venture is certainly the ants of many colours and sizes. Yes, folks throw the eggs and the rotten vegetables to me now, I am guilty with the capital letter G! I am still baking.

This is an overview of how I got into this sweet cake mess. It is however, pleasantly sticky I tell ya.

I have accepted orders and recorded them nicely on my calender. And the last cake was supposed to be baked a week before last. Prior to this "temporary hanging the apron event", I have had friends and regular customers placing their "open date" orders which mean they could have my cakes anytime they fancy. To my surprise, all these open date orders rushed in at the same time. I could not decline as I have given them my word. And so in the kitchen this old haggard with her crooked cane was, all week. I still have many orders to fulfill and fulfilling them I shall! I just have to postpone the promise I made to my family a little bit longer. The jigsaw puzzle would all come together in June, where we would take that long awaited break from all this madness. But before that event takes place, there are wedding cakes to construct, more engagement cupcakes and wedding cupcakes to decorate, kids' exam to hurdle through, adopted Arab overgrown children's exam to write and mark and lastly our bags to pack. Till then, you can throw me anything folks, coz I'll throw them right back atcha!

These are some of the cakes that managed to get snapped, before the camera snapped on me. Sorry da about the camera, will try to fix it. Just think about the cupcakes I'm gonna do for you this weekend...yes close your eyes now...



I would like to thank Anne for the many boxes of the simple chocolate cakes, Lynn for the double order of the country pink design, Sarah for the funky muffs and Farin for Luq's treat. I hope I didn't forget anyone.

Ps. I broke my brain when my camera, more accurately my sis's refused to work on me. So many cakes were not recorded. Managed to snap a few, but as you can see they are over exposed somehow with visible lines. Does anybody know where I can fix my camera?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Saat Yang Bahagia

It's my father's and brother's birthday today. Nothing was planned. We couldn't do much really, since my husband was away, my mum was at my sis' place taking care of her during her confinement period. I, on the other hand was quite busy tending to my new class hours and baking at the same time. My father was stationed at my sis' place, entertaining his gang stars and finishing up all the kerepeks to the last serbuk. My son, the brightest star of all had to get his eyes infected with Conjunctivitis. There were thick crusts around his eyes, all red and watery, which of course gave him many days off from school. As a result, "Aki" had to be kidnapped for a couple of days to look after my irritable son whilst I went out to find us that extra McDonald's trips allowance.

The Detention period for Aki : 2 days.
The penalty : To serve time with the chatty red crusted eyed A'dnin.

Analysis

A'dnin's eye conditions did not pose as a difficult punishement, but apparently his chatty, non stop blabbering was. He was talking from sunrise to sunset to midnight till all the lights were off. He talked on the way to Tesco, at Tesco, at the food court and on the way back, seriously non stop. Aki was his best friend for those two days, converting him into his "rides", his experiments, mostly his companion. He sprayed water on Aki's head and watched the tiny specs of water trickling down to his temple just for the fun of it. In other words, he was a nightmare to the grandfather, well in a cute way I hope. LOL

..............................................

The second day falls on Aki's birthday, which is today. There were no gatherings, fancy shmancy birthday set up, or even candles on the cake. There were just us, A'dnin, Iman, mama and "the just arrived sleepy baba from his trip". It was 6.15 am, everyone was still clad in their pyjamas, even Aki. I stayed up to bake him a chocolate banana cake the night before so at least, a cake was present to mark his birthday. We also managed to get him a small little gift as a token for his 69th year which of course was incomparable to the two days of baby sitting the bright spark.

So, Aki, here's wishing you a Happy happy happy 69th birthday and many many more. Also a note to say thank you for looking after your exact mirror reflection. Hope you had fun.

With love
A'dnin, Iman, me and azam.

Ps. Happy Birthday Yeop! I packed you some cakes, get them at Ida's place.

P. Ramlee's song for the listening pleasure of Aki. Saat Yang bahagia with anin, he he he.